Re: Defining GOG & EOG

Garry DeWeese (
Sat, 20 Dec 1997 08:47:43 -0700

At 06:22 PM 12/19/1997 -0500, George Murphy wrote:
> I don't deny that arguments for theism can (through the
>work of the Holy Spirit) bring people to a state in which they are
>willing to consider specifically Christian claims. But they can - &
>very often have - resulted in people thinking that "belief in God" is
>what is essential, & that Christ, cross, church, &c are secondary:
>"After all, we all believe in the same God, don't we?" This kind of
>thing has left its mark on the whole of western theology: The
>distinctively Christian understanding of God as Trinity is just a pious
>trailer to the supposedly "reasonable" belief in the unity of God, & the
>Incarnation is seen as a problem rather than an answer.

I think this is true and most unfortunate. But we all know that in the
often hostile environment of the academy, we can be strongly tempted to
embrace any theist as a brother or sister.

> Thus even if an independent natural theology can be defended in
>theory, it is very risky. Instead of doing apologetics that way, & try
>to get People to believe in the "Supreme Being" before they believe in
>Christ, why not ask them to consider the possibility that ultimate
>reality is seen in the one willing to be crucified to save the world?

In practice, they go hand in hand. To employ Paul's agricultural metaphor,
I think of theistic arguments (natural theology) as plowing the ground, and
presentation of the claims of Christ as sowing the seed. Sometimes the
practical emphasis falls on one activity, sometimes on the other, and
sometimes on watering seeds already sown.

Garry DeWeese